The Prodigal Son
as told by Truffles the Pig
Hello everyone; Truffles here.
I thought you might like to hear about something that happened to me just a little while ago.
It all started when this well dressed young man came into my sty. I’d never seen him before, but I could tell he wasn’t from round here.
He seemed nice enough – fed us and gave us fresh water, and then gave me a bit of a scratch. But then he just sat there looking miserable.
“It’s my own fault”, he told me. Well, I don’t suppose he was telling me really; I just happened to be there. And he sighed.
“You know”, he went on after a while, “I had it all. I was living at home with my dad and brother, working on the farm. It was quite a good job actually – hard work, but steady, and it could be rewarding. But I was bored, wasn’t I? I reckoned I should have more. So I asked dad for some money.
‘Go on dad,’ I said; ‘I’ll get it anyway when you die, but I can’t wait that long’.
Well, that was probably a bit rude, but dad didn’t make a fuss, or give me the old “I’m disappointed in you” lecture; he actually gave me the cash! I couldn’t believe it; I’d never seen so much money. Well I thought the best thing to do was to get away. It would cost more, but I didn’t want to come home each night and have to answer questions about what I’d been spending the money on.
So, I did, and I met a good crowd; lovely blokes they were. I did notice that I was buying more drinks than anyone else, but I was the new comer and it seemed a bit mean to complain. And it wasn’t their fault I lost that money gambling; surely they didn’t give me bad advice on purpose. Anyway, I was having a great time – until I noticed the cash was running a bit low.”
He shook his head at this point. I was trying to look as if I was busy.
“I told one of the lads I was a bit short”, this stranger went on, “and asked him if he could lend me enough for a room. Well, I’d bought him several drinks, so I didn’t think it was too much to ask. But do you know what he said?”
Well, actually, I could guess, but I wasn’t going to say anything – even though this man wouldn’t have understood me.
“He said”, the man was beginning to sound a little angry at this point, “that I was a stranger; that he didn’t know me and he didn’t owe me anything. What a cheek! And – can you believe it – the others said the same. I mean, what gave them the right?
Anyway, I was beginning to feel rather foolish by this time, not to mention hungry and tired. So I took this job. What a let down!”
I looked up at that point, and maybe he saw a look in my eye, because he apologised.
“Oh, I’ve nothing against you personally”, he tried to explain, "but Jews can’t look after pigs – we’re told that you’re unclean animals”.
Well it sounded to me like this man was doing his best to insult everyone he met. Unclean? What a cheek; I had a bath only last week. I decided I didn’t like this stranger and wanted him to leave our sty, but before I could do anything, he bent down and picked up a handful of our food to eat - and it was such a sad sight that I forgot to be cross. Anyway, this seemed to stop him from feeling sorry for himself; pig food doesn’t taste very nice, and he made a plan to go back home and ask his dad to give him a job as a servant.
“Good idea”, I thought, “swallow your pride; not our food. Your dad sounds like a decent enough bloke, and I’m sure he misses you.”
And as it turns out, I know a cow who lives on that farm, and he told me that was exactly what happened. His father was so pleased to see him that he gave a great big party.
I must say that I don’t think that was fair.
This man had been rude to his dad and behaved very badly, but instead of getting told off, he got a new cloak and a welcome home party; talk about encouraging bad behaviour. In fact, I hear that the man’s brother thought just the same and didn’t want anything to do with him.
But the dad really believed that he had lost his son forever. I mean, he didn’t know where he had gone and could have been killed for all he knew. So, he was just very pleased to see him again.
You know, I heard my friend Jesus telling this story to some people the other day.
It was really interesting the way he did that – to make them think about God and what he does when we behave badly.
I wonder what you think?
The human version of this story can be found in the Bible in Luke Chapter 15, verses 11-31.